Most of us avoid thinking much about the testing of human products on animals to check for safety. It’s distressing and we wish there were another, better way.
Nanotech should eventually make such testing entirely obsolete, and the early stages of this process have begun. You can hear the latest in London this May at Nanotechnology: Towards Reducing Animal Testing:
Animal testing is costly and there is a great deal of research on finding viable and effective alternatives (new methods that refine existing tests by minimizing animal distress, reducing animal usage, or replacing whole animal tests). Despite large reductions in animal testing since the early 1980s due to improved in vitro methods, levels remain high (over 3 million procedures in 2006) and results cannot always be extrapolated to humans.
The application of nanotechnology is currently revolutionizing medicine and this two-day conference, the first of its kind in Europe, will examine the role nanotechnology could also play in improving or refining the development of alternatives to animal testing whilst maintaining safety.
Presumably, this use of nanotech is one that we can all support. —Christine